The Rose Bowl game will feature a team from the Pac-12 and the Big-10. Teams to be announced after the wrap of the season! Whether you’re a fan of the teams participating, or just a fan of college football, the Rose Bowl game is one for your bucket list. Tailgating at the Rose Bowl is an experience unlike any other, and the stealth bomber flyover is just the cherry on top.
One of the best aspects of the Rose Bowl is the pre-game experience, as proven by the massive lines of cars awaiting the parking lot opening at 4:00 am (yes, you read that correctly, 4:00 am!). It’s hard to beat the tailgating when –
- It’s always a beautiful 70 degree and sunny Southern California day
- The location is beautiful – you’re out on a golf course surrounded by snow-covered mountains
- You’re surrounded by great people traveling in from all over the US
- You get to see the most epic flyover of all time, the Stealth Bomber
If you’re planning to attend the Rose Bowl game, this Tailgater Guide should have everything you need for a successful game day experience. If you have any questions after taking a read, feel free to give the team at Tailgater Concierge a call at 888-301-2190, we’d be happy to answer any additional questions you may have. Or you can leave your questions in the comments below.
Ideally, it’d be best to go through your team’s ticket office, given you’ll be sitting with your fellow fans, and you can avoid quite a bit of those 3rd party site fees. However, the benefit of the 3rd party sites is you’ll get to purchase your exact seats, versus going through your team office might require a raffle entry. Up to you!
Overall, though, don’t wait until the day of. This is an incredibly popular game, you never know what last-minute scalpers will charge. And you don’t want the added last-minute stress of finding tickets, enjoy your game day fully and have this taken care of ahead of time.
Getting to the Rose Bowl
The Rose Bowl is situated in a ravine surrounded by hills and mountains which makes for a lovely view from the golf course and stadium. On the flip side, this location creates significant traffic issues since there are only a few ways in and out of the stadium and most are small residential streets. This is even more reason to get to the Rose Bowl early, set up a great tailgate, and enjoy the comradery of your fellow football fans.
Given the location of the Rose Bowl, your options to get to the stadium are quite limited when compared to other football stadiums. Your options are:
Drive & Park at the Golf Course
Parking opens at 4:00 am and is first-come, first-served on the Brookside Golf Course which surrounds the north side of the stadium. Prices are $50 per car on the day of or you can pre-purchase parking for $40 at ParkJockey.com. I’d recommend taking care of this ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about having cash on game day and can save a few bucks!
If you’re interested in tailgating, we’d suggest targeting Lot 6 on the West side of the course – it’s the first lot open to general parking and is typically full of diehard fans from both teams. It’s the BEST tailgate atmosphere at the Rose Bowl in our opinion. It also has lots of large trees around for shade, but plenty of open areas for throwing around a football.
There is also parking south of the stadium near the ball diamonds but most of the tailgating action is up on the golf course.
If you want to ‘drive’ by renting a limo or bus and having a driver take your party to and from the stadium, be sure to purchase ‘Bus & RV parking’, which you can also find on Park Jockey linked above. Your driver will be directed to park in Lot I, which is on the southern side of the Rose Bowl (see below map).
For more detailed driving directions to the stadium, check out the Rose Bowls Getting Here Page.
Drive & Park At Parsons + Shuttle
To avoid the Rose Bowl traffic, you can also opt to drive and park in the Parson’s parking lot (on Pasadena Ave just north of Union Street) and take the shuttle that will drop you off at the front steps of the Rose Bowl. Now don’t be alarmed, you will likely see a large line when you arrive, but it moves quickly. There are constant shuttles flowing to and from this lot to the venue.
Metro & Shuttle/Ride-Share
If you would like to take the Metro, you should take the Metro Gold Line, exit the train at Memorial Park Station in Pasadena. You can either walk to the Rose Bowl Stadium from this location (approximately 2.4 miles) or purchase a shuttle pass and take the Rose Bowl Shuttle to the Stadium. This shuttle will take you directly to the Rose Bowl Stadium. After the event, simply reverse your route.
Pro-tip: make sure to buy a two-way metro pass or have a multi-use pass with a few rides left at the start of your journey. It’s always super easy to travel is via metro, but sometimes you’ll find long lines at the ticket purchase stations on the way out. If you already have your return pass, it’s much easier to leave.
For assistance planning your Metro trip call (323) 466-3876 or visit www.metro.net.
FYI – taking the Metro/shuttle makes it very difficult to bring tailgate gear so hopefully, you have a buddy with a tailgate you can join, or feel free to check out our Rose Bowl Tailgate Packages.
Ride-Share and Drop-off at the Rose Bowl
If you want to use ride-share options (i.e. Lyft, Uber, etc.) and get dropped off at the actual Rose Bowl, you can just be prepared to have some delays if you head that way closer to game time. Do note, that the Rose Bowl has one set drop-off and pick-up location right near the Fan Zone area in the above map. If you’re planning to meet friends out on the golf course, be prepared to walk for ~10-20 minutes depending on which lot they pulled into.
4:00 a.m. Stadium Parking Lots Open
7:00 a.m. Merchandise Booths Open
8:00 a.m. Public Rose Bowl Tailgate Opens in Lot 1A (5 min walk from Stadium)
10:00 a.m. Ticketmaster Rose Bowl Game Will Call Opens (Gate B)
10:00 a.m. Shuttle to the stadium from Parsons Begins
11:00 a.m. Universities Will Call Opens (Rose Bowl Stadium Gate A)
11:30 p.m. Rose Bowl Gates Open
1:00 p.m. Rose Bowl Pre-Game Activities Begin
2:00 p.m. The Rose Bowl Game begins
90-min after game Parking lots close
Tailgating on the Golf Course
…how awesome is that?
Fans can set up one 10’x10’ tent behind their car. If you have a bigger group you might want to caravan in with multiple cars, so you can set up multiple tents and have enough space for all your guests. No outside caterers are allowed on the golf course so make sure to plan to bring your own food or give yourself enough time to pick up a catering order before driving into the Rose Bowl.
Given the tough traffic mentioned earlier, make sure to pack up your leftovers and save it for the post-game. We’d recommend hanging out in the parking lot for a bit to let the traffic die down. The lots are officially open for 1.5 hours after the game.
Some other important Rose Bowl tailgating guidelines:
- Tailgating Ambassadors will continuously patrol the lots to provide information and assistance. They will ensure that tailgaters comply with established guidelines. Tailgating Ambassadors will be dressed in green uniforms and will be on bicycles.
- Roadways, aisles, and other parking areas must be kept clear of tailgating equipment so that other vehicles and emergency personnel may park or pass through.
- Charcoal grills are permitted in most tailgate areas. Please dispose of charcoal properly after use.
- Please do not use glass containers. All drinks should be placed in plastic/disposable cups.
- Parking lots close 90 minutes following the conclusion of the game. Overnight parking is prohibited.
If you’re planning to host your own tailgate, be sure to check out these other blogs:
Tailgater Concierge Service at The Rose Bowl
If you’re traveling in from out of town, bringing a large group to a game, or just don’t want to deal with the hassles of tailgating, check out our Rose Bowl Tailgate Packages!
We handle the space, set-up, take-down of all your needed equipment – from the standard 10’x10’ tents, tables, chairs to coolers w/ ice, satellite TV packages, corn hole games, and more! Our team at Tailgater Concierge will also help coordinate all your catering, beverage, and bartending needs. You’ll have a full concierge team on-site ensuring you have a flawless game day experience.
If you’re interested in learning more, reach out to our team today at 888-301-2190!
*If you’re interested in seeing the Rose Parade, but are planning to attend the Rose Bowl game. We’d suggest heading to the stadium early and parking your vehicle on the golf course. Once parked, you can hope in an uber or take a shuttle down to the parade route. That way you can avoid traffic after the parade!
*The Rose Bowl has adopted the Clear Bag Policy, for more details on this, check out the Rose Bowl Clear Bag Policy Guidelines.
*The Rose Bowl has VERY limited food & beverage sales outside of the stadium, so make sure to pack accordingly for all your F&B needs while tailgating
*All rideshare options will have a pick-up and drop-off located in Lot H. Please keep this in mind when coming and going from the Rose Bowl. You may need to factor in a 15-20-minute walk to the golf course!
If you have any questions regarding tailgating at the Rose Bowl, reach out to the team via [email protected] or 888-301-2190.